Facebook password request challenged

Two US senators have asked attorney general Eric Holder to investigate whether asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews violates federal law.

Democratic senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said they are calling on the Department of Justice and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to launch investigations. The senators are sending letters to the heads of the agencies.

The Associated Press reported last week that some private and public agencies are asking job seekers for their social media credentials. The practice has alarmed privacy advocates, but its legality remains murky.

On Friday, Facebook warned employers not to ask job applicants for their passwords, and threatened legal action against applications that violate its policy on sharing passwords.

“We don’t think employers should be asking prospective employees to provide their passwords...

“We look forward to engaging with policy-makers and other stakeholders, to help better safeguard the privacy of our users,” Facebook said in a statement yesterday.

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